Okay, here’s the deal. We all know that the only sure-fire way to make friends— that is, bonding at a party whilst drunk — is currently, shall we say, an unavailable option to the first-year class. In light of this unfortunate development, the Wesleyan Class of ’24 (myself included) has been forced to get a little creative. Some of these endeavors have been entirely successful! Others have…not gotten the desired result. So, if you’re one of the people out there (honestly, even if you’re not a first-year! Transfers! Lonely upperclassmen! What have you!) and you’re not entirely sure how to navigate the whole I-don’t-want-to-go-insane-alone-in-quarantine situation, look no further! I can help you out with all your innovative friend-making needs; the tried-and-true methods as well as the tried-and-epically-failed ones.
Yeah, tinder. The app that you say your friends made you download, but really you use when you need a teensy bit of validation from strangers (stop lying to yourself).
The thing about tinder: it is the absolute antithesis of making friends. This will not get you to your end goal, babe. I promise. Matching with someone ends one of two ways: in a nonverbal pact to never talk about it if you see them in public (which means never talking to them…ever) OR maybe you get a meal with them once and avoid eye contact at all costs should you ever see them again.
Overall: Not recommended. 2.4/10. Sorry! Better luck next time.
4. Summies Late Night
I’ll be honest, the viability of this option is directly correlated to how much time you can spend outside in 30 degree weather without a winter coat—because a winter coat involves wayyyy too much forethought when you’re drunk. Granted, this task is made slightly easier with a stack of chocolate chip pancakes or tater tots, but overall if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the sensation of not being able to feel your fingers, this one may not be for you.
However I will say that if you can bear the frozen tundra (I myself am not one of those people and am in constant awe of those who are), summies late night is a staple for meeting new people. For those of you like me…don’t worry. There are other ways.
Overall: Recommended, but only if you’re Frosty the snowman. 5.7/10
3. Zoom Private DM-ing
Guys. The other day, I was in a zoom call with a bunch of people I didn’t know (don’t ask why), and the most AMAZING thing happened. I saw a glorious little message pop up in the chat feature. And then, lo and behold, I saw that this message had a little red note next to it that read, “private message.” I cannot even begin to relay my excitement. There’s something about someone DMing you personally with a message that says “you seem cool! Let’s be friends :)” that really speaks to my inner narcissist. Full Disclosure: I have not spoken to her since this original conversation. BUT I hold out a lot of hope for the future, so I’m gonna rank this one pretty high.
Overall: 7.1/10. Most definitely recommended. And it doesn’t even have to be a full message! You can just say “hi” and I guarantee that person will be SO happy you selected them to talk to. Flattery, man…it’s a pretty fool-proof way to go.
2. Dorm Bathrooms
I feel like this one is rather self-explanatory…there’s nothing quite like brushing your teeth next to someone in complete and utter silence and then immediately striking up a conversation once you’ve both regained the ability to speak, only to have to silence yourselves again in order to wash your face. I mean, it’s pretty low stakes and very minimal effort because let’s face it, the amount of time you have to talk is slim-to-none. So for all my introverted peeps—this is totally the way to go.
Overall: 7.9/10. Just, like, don’t talk with toothpaste in your mouth. That’s almost as surefire as tinder when it comes to the loss of some potential friends.
1. Getting a meal
Is it awkward? Heck yeah it is! Is it worth it? One hundred percent. Get over yourself and just ask out your friend-crush to lunch or dinner. Chances are, they have a friend-crush on you too! (I mean seriously guys everyone here is so freaking cool I don’t understand it…is there something in the lead-ridden water??) Anyways, it’s a real bonding experience, and plus there’s already so many things you can talk about (hellooooo covid, Usdan food…squirrels) that if you’re one of those people who’s deathly afraid of silence, I guarantee you won’t even run into that problem. Plus, after the meal, you got yourself a new friend! At least half of my current friendships have begun with me asking a complete and total stranger to eat food with me whilst being very visibly uncomfortable. But hey, facts are facts—it works.
Overall: 10/10, and remember: it’s only awkward if you make it awkward.